Much to the surprise of my roommates and myself, the television channel wasn’t reverberating with the automobile-related antics of Jeremy Clarkson and his Top Gear co-hosts on Monday but, instead, it was tuned to CNN’s broadcast of the Tea Party debate.

For a majority of the program, the television only provided ambiance to the biblical amount of reading already required by my professors.  My reading was punctuated, however, when the audience responded with an unfamiliar response: “boo.”                  This disapproval was directed towards Ron Paul when the Texas congressman offered his opinion on why America was attacked one day and ten years ago.  He offered that the attacks were due to irresponsible American foreign policy.  He was countered (much to the audience’s pleasure) by Rick Santorum who solidified his “victory” over Rep. Paul by asserting that the attacks were because Muslim extremists were jealous of our freedom.

Now, not only had my roommates called my channel selection into question, but also our faith in the American populace assumed a state of limbo.  How could it be that an entire audience (and presumably Sen. Santorum) isn’t aware of why America was attacked?  This very audience will be exercising its democratic duty in a little over a year!

Let me start off with the conclusion: Representative Ron Paul was correct in his analysis of why America was attacked.  Sept. 11 occurred because of growing anti-imperialist sentiments in the Middle East.

Yes, I’m implying America was/is acting imperialistically and, furthermore, it can be assumed that Al-Qaeda thought attacking America was its last resort. (Let it be known that I’m not justifying the attacks, merely presenting Osama bin Laden’s justification.)

Ron Paul, myself, and, hopefully, a large percentage of Americans know that the hijackings were a response to American imperialism simply because Osama bin Laden gave that as his reason. For years, Al-Qaeda has been transparent in its distaste for American intervention, specifically involvement in Saudi Arabia and Israel.  Not once has any person even remotely connected to Al-Qaeda’s sentiments ever mentioned a jealousy of American freedom – that construct was artificially created in America to sway voters. Let’s hope it doesn’t work in the elections next year. My assessment of the Sept. 11 attacks is purposefully brief.  It’s not my purpose to dive into conspiracy theories that are even harder to prove or to “bash America.” Labeling some United States foreign policies as imperialistic isn’t meant as a slight either. Indeed, imperialism only carries a negative connotation if a person gives it one.

My goal, and I hope I’ve succeeded, is to give a concise, honest overview as to why this country was attacked over a decade ago.


William Pearson can be reached at



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